Lahore: Former Pakistan captain Azhar Ali has decided to quit ODIs and focus only on Tests going forward. He had mostly been out of Pakistan’s ODI plans in the recent months, having last played the format in January 2018 against New Zealand. Azhar never played T20 internationals.
His last major contribution came in the Champions Trophy last year when he scored 59 in the final against India after a 50 against the same opponents in the league stage and 76 against England in the semi-final.
He was dropped after the New Zealand tour earlier this year to be replaced by Imam-ul-Haq, who has scored three centuries and as many half-centuries in 10 innings since the Zimbabwe tour.
“I haven’t taken this decision suddenly, I have been thinking about it,” Azhar said at a press conference in Lahore. “It’s the right time to focus on Tests. There have been terrific players in one-dayers in the Pakistan set-up. I want to concentrate on Tests with the same fitness and energy that I have been.
“I didn’t decide to retire after any hard feelings, it’s my personal decision. I want to focus on Tests with full energy and improve my career record there. I don’t have any regrets because I always gave all my efforts.
“As a former captain, I wish the team very best for an important season ahead before the World Cup next year. I fully support Sarfraz [Ahmed]. He has been leading them very well.”
Azhar will end his ODI career with 53 ODIs to his name in which he scored 1845 runs at an average of 36.09, with three centuries and 12 half-centuries.